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In the decades after World War II, evangelical Christianity nourished America’s devotion to free markets, free trade, and free enterprise. The history of Wal-Mart uncovers a complex network that united Sun Belt entrepreneurs, evangelical employees, Christian business students, overseas missionaries, and free-market activists. Through the stories of people linked by the world’s largest corporation, Bethany Moreton shows how a Christian service ethos powered capitalism at home and abroad. While industrial America was built by and for the urban North, rural Southerners comprised much of the labor, management, and consumers in the postwar service sector that raised the Sun Belt to national influence. These newcomers to the economic stage put down the plough to take up the bar-code scanner without ever passing through the assembly line. Industrial culture had been urban, modernist, sometimes radical, often Catholic and Jewish, and self-consciously international. Post-industrial culture, in contrast, spoke of Jesus with a drawl and of unions with a sneer, sang about Momma and the flag, and preached salvation in this world and the next. This extraordinary biography of Wal-Mart’s world shows how a Christian pro-business movement grew from the bottom up as well as the top down, bolstering an economic vision that sanctifies corporate globalization. The author has assigned her royalties and subsidiary earnings to Interfaith Worker Justice and its local affiliate in Athens, GA, the Economic Justice Coalition.
Wal-Mart is America’s largest retailer. The national chain of stores is a powerful stand-in of both the promise and perils of free market capitalism. Yet it is also often the target of public outcry for its labor practices, to say nothing of class-action lawsuits, and a central symbol in America’s increasingly polarized political discourse over consumption, capitalism and government regulations. In many ways the battle over Wal-Mart is the battle between “Main Street” and “Wall Street” as the fate of workers under globalization and the ability of the private market to effectively distribute precious goods like health care take center stage. In Wal-Mart Wars, Rebekah Massengill shows that the economic debates are not about dollars and cents, but instead represent a conflict over the deployment of deeper symbolic ideas about freedom, community, family, and citizenship. Wal-Mart Wars argues that the family is not just a culture wars issue to be debated with regard to same-sex marriage or the limits of abortion rights; rather, the family is also an idea that shapes the ways in which both conservative and progressive activists talk about economic issues, and in the process, construct different moral frameworks for evaluating capitalism and its most troubling inequalities. With particular attention to political activism and the role of big business to the overall economy, Massengill shows that the fight over the practices of this multi-billion dollar corporation can provide us with important insight into the dreams and realities of American capitalism.
In book two of the Jesus at Walmart Trilogy, Malachi Marble is still working at Walmart.& ;& ;The former pastor, toils through the night while attempting to keep the desire of his heart alivehis passion to serve God and his coworkers at the store.& ;& ;Join Malachi as his life, his faith, and his yearnings become exposed to vulnerability's limit.& ;& ;Walk past the greeter, into the heart and soul of Walmart with Malachi. Another trip to Walmart like no other, awaits you.& ;& ;And may you enjoy the venue of fiction for exploring thoughts and ideas to new depths.
This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture offers a timely, authoritative, and interdisciplinary exploration of issues related to social class in the South from the colonial era to the present. With introductory essays by J. Wayne Flynt and by editors Larry J. Griffin and Peggy G. Hargis, the volume is a comprehensive, stand-alone reference to this complex subject, which underpins the history of the region and shapes its future. In 58 thematic essays and 103 topical entries, the contributors explore the effects of class on all aspects of life in the South--its role in Indian removal, the Civil War, the New Deal, and the civil rights movement, for example, and how it has been manifested in religion, sports, country and gospel music, and matters of gender. Artisans and the working class, indentured workers and steelworkers, the Freedmen's Bureau and the Knights of Labor are all examined. This volume provides a full investigation of social class in the region and situates class concerns at the center of our understanding of Southern culture.
American evangelicalism has long walked hand in hand with modern consumer capitalism. Timothy Gloege shows us why, through an engaging story about God and big business at the Moody Bible Institute. Founded in Chicago by shoe-salesman-turned-revivalist Dwight Lyman Moody in 1889, the institute became a center of fundamentalism under the guidance of the innovative promoter and president of Quaker Oats, Henry Crowell. Gloege explores the framework for understanding humanity shared by these business and evangelical leaders, whose perspectives clearly differed from those underlying modern scientific theories. At the core of their "corporate evangelical" framework was a modern individualism understood primarily in terms of economic relations. Conservative evangelicalism and modern business grew symbiotically, transforming the ways that Americans worshipped, worked, and consumed. Gilded Age evangelicals initially understood themselves primarily as new "Christian workers--employees of God guided by their divine contract, the Bible. But when these ideas were put to revolutionary ends by Populists, corporate evangelicals reimagined themselves as savvy religious consumers and reformulated their beliefs. Their consumer-oriented "orthodoxy" displaced traditional creeds and undermined denominational authority, forever altering the American religious landscape. Guaranteed pure of both liberal theology and Populist excesses, this was a new form of old-time religion not simply compatible with modern consumer capitalism but uniquely dependent on it.
Since the 1950s, millions of American Christians have traveled to the Holy Land to visit places in Israel and the Palestinian territories associated with Jesus’s life and death. Why do these pilgrims choose to journey halfway around the world? How do they react to what they encounter, and how do they understand the trip upon return? This book places the answers to these questions into the context of broad historical trends, analyzing how the growth of mass-market evangelical and Catholic pilgrimage relates to changes in American Christian theology and culture over the last sixty years, including shifts in Jewish-Christian relations, the growth of small group spirituality, and the development of a Christian leisure industry. Drawing on five years of research with pilgrims before, during and after their trips, Walking Where Jesus Walked offers a lived religion approach that explores the trip’s hybrid nature for pilgrims themselves: both ordinary—tied to their everyday role as the family’s ritual specialists, and extraordinary—since they leave home in a dramatic way, often for the first time. Their experiences illuminate key tensions in contemporary US Christianity between material evidence and transcendent divinity, commoditization and religious authority, domestic relationships and global experience. Hillary Kaell crafts the first in-depth study of the cultural and religious significance of American Holy Land pilgrimage after 1948. The result sheds light on how Christian pilgrims, especially women, make sense of their experience in Israel-Palestine, offering an important complement to top-down approaches in studies of Christian Zionism and foreign policy.
Anabaptists have often felt suspicious of American evangelicalism, and in turn evangelicals have found various reasons to dismiss the Anabaptist witness. Yet at various points in the past as well as the present, evangelicals and Anabaptists have found ample reason for conversation and much to appreciate about each other. The Activist Impulse represents the first book-length examination of the complex relationship between evangelicalism and Anabaptism in the past thirty years. It brings established experts and new voices together in an effort to explore the historical and theological intersection of these two rich traditions. Each of the essays provides fresh insight on at least one characteristic that both evangelicals and Anabaptists share--an impulse to engage society through the pursuit of active Christian witness.
This is the first critical history of Christian Reconstruction and its founder and champion, theologian and activist Rousas John Rushdoony (1916–2001). Drawing on exclusive access to Rushdoony's personal papers and extensive correspondence, Michael J. McVicar demonstrates the considerable role Reconstructionism played in the development of the radical Christian Right and an American theocratic agenda. As a religious movement, Reconstructionism aims at nothing less than "reconstructing" individuals through a form of Christian governance that, if implemented in the lives of U.S. citizens, would fundamentally alter the shape of American society. McVicar examines Rushdoony's career and traces Reconstructionism as it grew from a grassroots, populist movement in the 1960s to its height of popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. He reveals the movement's galvanizing role in the development of political conspiracy theories and survivalism, libertarianism and antistatism, and educational reform and homeschooling. The book demonstrates how these issues have retained and in many cases gained potency for conservative Christians to the present day, despite the decline of the movement itself beginning in the 1990s. McVicar contends that Christian Reconstruction has contributed significantly to how certain forms of religiosity have become central, and now familiar, aspects of an often controversial conservative revolution in America.
Discovering the Gospel in Everyday Living Walmart, Jesus and You is a challenging invitation to hear Jesus speak to you personally about the importance and significance of everyday events in your life. Today, many have failed to grasp the reality that Jesus has not changed His method of teaching. In the past, His use of parables helped people understand and apply God’s truth to their own life. Today, through Scripture and your own life experiences, Jesus can do the same. Have you read the Parable of the Buzzard, the Parable of Elvis, or the Parable of Walmart? You can find them and many more as the subject matter of this book. When Scripture is laid alongside a trip to Walmart, frustration with computers, ordering a hamburger, and other everyday experiences, you will know subject matter for parables is all around us. Then as you read the true life experiences of the author and what Jesus says about these experiences, you will recognize and learn how Jesus can speak to you using every day events in your life. You will develop a greater understanding of God’s word and grow closer to the master teacher. Walmart, Jesus, and You is easy to understand but will powerfully touch your spirit. With each chapter teaching a different life principle, the book is excellent for small groups and is useful to pastors, teachers, and others in the local church. Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to assist Southern Baptist international missions efforts through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®.
Explores the origins of the Republican Party's shift from a party of moderation to one of extremism, beginning in the early 1960s with President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address.
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: "How much money will it bring in?" G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a "nation with a soul of a church." At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics. Bringing together original contributions by leading experts and rising scholars from both America and Europe, the volume pushes this field of study forward by examining the ways religions and markets in relationship can provide powerful insights and open unseen aspects into both. In essays ranging from colonial American mercantilism to modern megachurches, from literary markets to popular festivals, the authors explore how religious behavior is shaped by commerce, and how commercial practices are informed by religion. By focusing on what historians often use off-handedly as a metaphor or analogy, the volume offers new insights into three varieties of relationships: religion and the marketplace, religion in the marketplace, and religion as the marketplace. Using these categories, the contributors test the assumptions scholars have come to hold, and offer deeper insights into religion and the marketplace in America.
`Eve Darian-Smith takes us on an amazing journey spanning four centuries, brilliantly illuminating the continuously evolving interplay of law, religion, and race in the Anglo-American experience. This wonderfully readable book is imaginatively organized around a series of eight `law moments' that ingeniously show how legal rights are subtly shaped by culturally prevailing ideas about religion and race.'---Richard Falk, Albert G Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University --
Just imagine with me that you all of a sudden see a road that is dusty and you decide to see what is down it and you see a café called the journey has begins so as you enjoy this burger zack the person that works as a tour guide starts to tell you that you have turned down a road where you will find out about Tony {T-bone} life at different parts like Wal-Mart and church and school and about girls. He will also tell you stories about his friends. I think this journey also might help you meet T-bone and maybe help you in your journey if you are ready well then open this book.
Since Sam Walton's death in 1992, Wal-Mart has gone from being the largest retailer in the world to holding the top spot on the Fortune 500 list as the largest company in the world. Don Soderquist, who was senior vice chairman during that time, played a crucial role in that success. Sam Walton said, "I tried for almost twenty years to hire Don Soderquist . . . But when we really needed him later on, he finally joined up and made a great chief operating officer." Responsible for overseeing many of Wal-Mart's key support divisions, including real estate, human resources, information systems, logistics, legal, corporate affairs, and loss prevention, Soderquist stayed true to his Christian values as well as Wal-Mart's distinct management style. "Probably no other Wal-Mart executive since the legendary Sam Walton has come to embody the principles of the company's culture-or to represent them within the industry-as has Don Soderquist," Discount Store News once reported. In The Wal-Mart Way, Soderquist shares his story of helping lead a global company from being a $43 billion company to one that would eventually exceed $200 billion. Several books have been written about Wal-Mart's success, but none by the ones who were the actual players. It was more than "Everyday Low Prices" and distribution that catapulted the company to the top. The core values based on Judeo-Christian principles-and maintained by leaders such as Soderquist-are the real reason for Wal-Mart's success.
The schoolhouse has long been a crucible in the construction and contestation of the political concept of "family values." Through Spanish-bilingual and sex education, moderates and conservatives in California came to define the family as a politicized and racialized site in the late 1960s and 1970s. Sex education became a vital arena in the culture wars as cultural conservatives imagined the family as imperiled by morally lax progressives and liberals who advocated for these programs attempted to manage the onslaught of sexual explicitness in broader culture. Many moderates, however, doubted the propriety of addressing such sensitive issues outside the home. Bilingual education, meanwhile, was condemned as a symbol of wasteful federal spending on ethically questionable curricula and an intrusion on local prerogative. Spanish-language bilingual-bicultural programs may seem less relevant to the politics of family, but many Latino parents and students attempted to assert their authority, against great resistance, in impassioned demands to incorporate their cultural and linguistic heritage into the classroom. Both types of educational programs, in their successful implementation and in the reaction they inspired, highlight the rightward turn and enduring progressivism in postwar American political culture. In Classroom Wars, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela charts how a state and a citizenry deeply committed to public education as an engine of civic and moral education navigated the massive changes brought about by the 1960s, including the sexual revolution, school desegregation, and a dramatic increase in Latino immigration. She traces the mounting tensions over educational progressivism, cultural and moral decay, and fiscal improvidence, using sources ranging from policy documents to student newspapers, from course evaluations to oral histories. Petrzela reveals how a growing number of Americans fused values about family, personal, and civic morality, which galvanized a powerful politics that engaged many Californians and, ultimately, many Americans. In doing so, they blurred the distinction between public and private and inspired some of the fiercest classroom wars in American history. Taking readers from the cultures of Orange County mega-churches to Berkeley coffeehouses, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela's history of these classroom controversies sheds light on the bitterness of the battles over diversity we continue to wage today and their influence on schools and society nationwide.
Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society--one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success. Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.
When Government Helped systematically evaluates some parallels between The Great Depression and the 2007-2008 global economic meltdown, not only in terms of their economic causes and consequences, but also in terms of their political and cultural contexts and the environmental crises that afflict both periods. The positive and negative lessons for contemporary policy-making are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of authors across a range of policy arenas. This book is a unique blend of disciplines that presents a new set of guideposts--some beneficial, some cautionary--for the future.

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